A letter to Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach,

You are our neighbors, friends and family. It would be far too difficult for me to write this without expressing my great sorrow for the condition I have witnessed or your city. I have great hope that your city will one day return to the glory it once had. I have such great hope - as it has great beauty and potential; though for some reason the powers that be have left a despot. This has given rise to a solution for poverty against the better judgment of a larger community. I speak not just of Taney County but of the entire state of Missouri.

In a conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be an attorney I was told,
Higher Crime, Bankruptcy, Divorce - Gambling is good for my business

I fear there are others here that feel the same way. The proposition of gambling fills a few pockets at the cost of a greater good. Please, do not take my observations as condemnation. Again, I write with sorrow as I understand the dire circumstances many of your citizens live in. I also write with anger as little "sunshine" has been shed on backroom negotiations, our Uncle Tom's, your silent supporters. (I'll never tell or take for granted my right as reporter)

You make me wish I had greater means, a louder voice, a larger wallet. I wish I could rid your town of the drug labs, crime and poverty that plague you. You have schools with smart boards and no air conditioning. I've seen the horror of your lowest places. I remember visiting a Rockaway dwelling smaller than my college apartments packed 5 deep with a child so confined at 2 years of age he could not walk. It's hard for me to imagine an evil greater than this and understand your reach for any solution. Still, this messiah you promise comes with a great plague and a promise to sell our daughters into prostitution. For them, it's just business.

I would speak of a solution but will not waste my breath as it would most certainly fall on deaf ears.

Millions were spent to stop you. They promised to build a Great Wall! I warned them that the enemy was already within the compound. I had hoped someone would build you a Great Exposition.

May God bless you with a shepherd from these hills to lead you through a Golden Gate where no Great Wall is needed.